Sikes attempting to destroy his dog

George Cruikshank, 1792-1878

Part 21, January 1839

Etching on steel

Twenty-first monthly illustration, The Adventures of Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress

Although Dickens describes Sikes's faithful mixed-breed Bull's-eye as "white" and "shaggy," Cruikshank has consistently presented him as smooth-haired, but variously as medium-sized and small. Other illustrators have presented more satisfactory and more consistent interpretations of Sikes's companion, although their images of the stoutly built, physically powerful, and thoroughly brutal thirty-five-year-old burglar and which all seem to be based on Cruikshank's conception of a tall, ill-shaven tough wearing a tall, white hat as his continuing feature.

  • Cruikshank’s hand-colored version
  • Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.

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